• A new study suggests that the quality of sleep influences rest and personal well-being more than the number of hours slept

It has always been said that sleeping well is one of the key ingredients for good health and a good quality of life. But what happens when, despite sleeping the hours it takes, we can’t get a good rest? According to a study published this Wednesday in the scientific journal ‘PLOS ONE’, the people who report worse sleep quality are also the ones who blame worse health, well-being, happiness and in general, Satisfaction with life.

The research analyzes more than 5,000 surveys carried out between 2018 and 2020 by researchers from the Charles University in Prague. Through these questionnaires, the scientists asked people about their sleep patterns (such as the quantity and quality of hours, as well as possible «jet lag») and for different parameters of health and personal satisfaction (such as subjective levels of happiness and well-being). From there, the experts crossed the data to see if there was any kind of relationship between sleep and well-being.

«Better sleep means a better quality of life»

The analysis revealed that one of the factors that most affects people’s personal well-being is the quality of sleep (and not so much the number of hours rested or the time of rest itself). «Better sleep means a better quality of life. While it is important when we sleep and how long we sleep, people who have a better quality sleep They have a better quality of life, regardless of the time and also the duration of sleep», highlights the experts in the analysis published this Wednesday.

The study did not find a link between what is known as sleep «jet lag» (or ‘social jetlag’) and quality indices of life. That is, those people who, due to their work or routine, must rest at unusual hours (such as during the day or at dawn). did not present worse well-being indicators or health than those who slept at more conventional hours. There was also no clear relationship between these parameters and work stress Therefore, according to the researchers, people are able to adapt to any sleep routine as long as they can rest well.

problems of not sleeping

It is not the first time that a study points out the problems derived from lack of sleep. In fact, there are hundreds of studies and analyzes published on the subject. Long-term lack of sleep, as well as poor quality rest, has been associated with a increased risk of obesity, diabetes or cardiovascular disease. It has also been directly related to mood disorders such as anxiety or depression. The rest deficit triggered problems with attention, concentration and memory so, in addition, it is also related to the worst work and academic performance.

Lack of sleep causes health problems and social isolation

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Lack of sleep also causes social problems. According to a study in the journal ‘Nature Communication’, for example, the lack of hours of rest causes social isolation. «The fewer hours you sleep, the less you want to interact socially. In turn, if you don’t sleep, other people perceive you as more socially repulsive, further increasing the serious social isolation impact related to sleep loss,» the research highlights.

In Spain, according to data from the Spanish Society of Neurology, at least twelve million people claim to wake up tired or with the feeling of not having rested well. Furthermore, it is estimated that at least four million people suffer from insomnia or a chronic sleep disorder such as circadian rhythm disorders, restless legs syndrome, parasomnias or narcolepsy.